Christianity Blocking Access To…
Justice For All
Onward Christian Soldiers
Leading as to war.
Would Jesus even recognize
What you’re fighting for ???
Forty-five years a Trial Lawyer has taught me that the word “Justice” embraces two different concepts…
- Substantive Justice— the final “result”declared by a Judicial Tribunal, and
- Procedural Justice— the “process” by which the Judicial Tribunal obtained that final result.
Since Justice as a “result,” is usually in the subjective eye of the beholder, the search for Justice must “usually” bend toward and defer to “Procedural Justice.” Justice is, therefore “usually” obtained if the warring parties had (1) equal access to unbiased Tribunals of Justice and (2) an equal opportunity to be heard in those unbiased Tribunals— uninfluenced (as they must be) by the irrelevant concepts of “identity” (color of skin, race, age, sexual identity, creed or religious beliefs). Lady Justice must, indeed, be blindfolded, with no peeping at the “identity” of the parties before her.
The philosopher part of my nature tells me the starting point for any discussion on Justice (or equal access to it) begins with the recognition of America’s Founding Fathers’ “self evident truth.” That “self evident truth” that all of God’s children are created equal, “endowed by their Creator” with a free will, giving each and everyone of us the right of self determination to do what we chose, be what we want, and pursue our own individual version “life, liberty and… happiness”– subject only to the Law’s demand that our right of free will and self determination ends where the nose of our fellow man (or woman) begins.
As our Founding Fathers also recognized, we citizens of the World need protection from any and all totalitarian forces that would use their raw power to deprive us of our free will and our right of self determination, especially those totalitarian forces of our own Government and those echelons of Religious belief systems (aka separation of Church and State). We citizens of America (and, indeed, the World) must hold those totalitarian forces of Government and Religion at bay, and we must neutralize their penchant for abuse by hoisting up the protective mantle of the Bill of Rights. And, although the magic words, separation of Church and State, do not appear in the Bill of Rights, the 1st Amendment’s establishment’s clause does, indeed, separate State and Church by insisting that Government shall not establish (or give preference to) one religious belief system over another.
As a free thinking, “back row” Catholic and a product of 20 years of a sound Catholic education, The biggest totalitarian danger to equal access to Justice that I see on the horizon in today’s 21st Century is the right wing, Catholic-educated majority of the U. S. Supreme Court. That right wing, Catholic-educated majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is dangerously poised to neutralize the Bill of Rights “establishment” clause of the 1st Amendment by elevating the “unprovable beliefs” of Christianity as the established (or preferred) religion of the realm. Two brief examples whereof I write…
- Galloway v Town of Greece (572 US 565-2014) where the right wing, Supreme Court had no problem with the Town of Greece (in New York state) beginning each legislative session with a Christian prayer by a Christian Chaplain, dismissing with the stroke of a pen the protests of a Jew and an atheist.
- Little Sisters of the Poor (my Father’s favorite Catholic Charity) v Pennsylvania (140 S Ct 2367-2020) where the Supreme Court majority (in a convoluted procedural case) approved a citizen’s veto of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage for women employees because the good Nuns cling to the “unprovable belief” that birth control (not just abortion) is a sin, even though the subject was not covered by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. And, what about the contrary beliefs of the women employees who don’t believe birth control is a sin ? That contrary (no sin) belief took it on the chin, and was discarded by the stroke of the pen of the Supreme Court,’s Catholic-educated majority. As the 2011 Guttenmacher Institutes analysis indicates, 99% of all women and 98% of Catholic Women engage in the practice of birth control. See the March 19, 2012 New Yorker, page 23.
The Town of Greece and Little Sisters of the Poor cases are the canaries in the coal mine. Here we go into the 21st Century, and down the slippery slope from Democracy to Theocracy where activist, right wing, Christian Judges are giving biased and preferential Justice and Access to Justice for the mere, “unprovable beliefs” of right wing Christianity. I think it clear that the U.S. Supreme Court’s right wing Catholic majority is establishing (or, at a minimum, preferring) their “unprovable” belief system of Christianity over the rest of America.
Rhetorically speaking, has the right wing, Catholic-educated Supreme Court majority forgotten what happens when we allow the mere, “unprovable beliefs” of religious sects to trump the beliefs of others who are just trying to live out their own free will and their own self determination and their own “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
- Think Galileo facing death from the Roman Catholic Church, and having to recant his scientifically, provable belief that the Sun was the center of the solar system because the Christian Holy Book, the Bible, said the Earth was the center of the Universe, “from the rising of the Sun to the going down thereof.”
- Think Joan of Arc, a teenager, burned at the stake for heresy by those sacrilegious souls claiming to be followers of Jesus (on the official grounds that her beliefs contradicted the “unprovable religious beliefs” of Christianity).
- Think Salem Witch Trials where 14 women and six men were hung by the followers of Jesus, all on the grounds of an “unprovable belief” of who is and who is not a witch. Rapture gone horribly wrong.
- Think 50,000 executed as Witches in Europe during the dark ages, hung, beheaded and burned at the stake for the “unprovable beliefs” of religion.
- Think the Christian led Crusades of the Middle Ages which killed and maimed thousands of men, women and children because God’s Christians laid claim to the Holy Lands of the Middle East, and sought to wrest them back from God’s Muslims. All that maiming, torture, death and destruction because one religion’s “unprovable” belief system must be imposed on another religion’s “unprovable” belief system.
- Think the 1925 Scopes Monkey trial where a teacher in Tennessee was convicted of a crime by the followers of Jesus because the teacher (along with Charles Darwin) taught evolution which contradicted the “unprovable belief” of the Holy Book Genesis’ account of Creation and the (to be kind) “unprovable” story of Adam and Eve.
- Think Jesus of Nazareth dying a horrible death of scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying his cross to Golgotha, followed by crucifixion and asphyxiation because Jesus’ “belief” that he was the Messiah contradicted the “unprovable beliefs” of the religious authorities of his time.
- Think the pretend democracies of Middle East (really theocracies) where the followers of Muhammed, the Ayatollahs and the Mullahs, take away the “self evident” freedom of self determination of their followers, if (in their subjective opinion) the freedoms set forth in their Constitution are contradicted by the Koran.
- Think the ISIS Caliphate, the Taliban and al Qaida (all followers of Muhammed) hanging, drowning, crucifying, chainsawing and burning to death infidels and non believers whose beliefs are contrary to their subjective interpretation of the”unprovable beliefs” of the Muslim Holy Book, the Koran.
You say it can’t happen in America ??? It already has in the Salem Witch trials and in the Scopes Monkey trial. You say it won’t happen again. It already has in the Town of Greece and in the Little Sisters of the Poor. You say, but that was then, and this is now. Maybe so. Maybe no.
I say, we can count on history repeating itself. I say, as those before me have said, there is no past and there is no future; there is only history repeating itself over and over and over again, today. And, speaking strictly for me, I’d be very wary of repeating over and over again, the past of allowing the so-called followers of God and the prophets to take away our “self evident” freedom of self determination and our “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” by returning us to “dark ages” days of rapture with book burnings, hanging of witches and control by religious “thought police” who are known to destroy freedom as they protect the orthodoxy of “unprovable” beliefs from heretics like Jesus of Nazareth, Galileo, Joan of Arc, John Scopes, me and many others.
But, the Supreme Court, right wing Catholic majority seems hell bent on doing just that by allowing discriminating against, shunning or punishing God’s children who just want to live out the “self evident truth” of our Founding Fathers to determine their own “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” free from the governmental imposition of any Religion’s “unprovable” belief system. Let my fellow man believe in any “unprovable” belief system he or she chooses, but don’t let him impose his “unprovable” belief system on me with the help of the Catholic educated, Supreme Court Justices by discriminating against me or shunning me (or worse), simply because I don’t share their “unprovable” beliefs.
What is happening in America right now is hidden in plain sight right within the growing movement of the right wing, Supreme Court “Christian Supremacists,” those who will use their own brand of “unprovable beliefs” of right wing Christianity to trump the beliefs of others. My prayer. Let the children of God in America and worldwide believe in any “unprovable” belief system they choose, and may they be the better for it. But please dear Lord, don’t let them, their religious leaders, their followers or their control of government impose (or abuse) the rest of us with their “unprovable” beliefs or discriminate against the human rights of the rest of us or shun the rest of us for believing (or not believing) as we do, or challenge the rest of us for living our lives with the “self evident” human right to self determine our own life, our own liberty and the pursuit happiness that fits our plan of our own lives. Amen.
The Supreme Court has lulled itself and everyone else into the belief that mere, passive, “unprovable religious beliefs” somehow constitute the “exercise” of religion under the 1st Amendment when, the plain meaning and undeniable import of the phrase “exercise of religion” obviously means something far different from a mere, unprovable, passive belief. There is no exercise in sitting on the couch and there is no “exercise of religion” in holding a mere “belief.” Let the “Onward Christian Soldiers” and all other religious warriors “exercise” their religion with churches, synagogues and mosques, with congregations filled in prayer, with hymns sung and rosaries (my special devotion) said and with manger scenes on private front lawns. But governmental preferring one set of “unprovable” religious beliefs over another and discriminating against, shunning or punishing those who don’t hold those same “unprovable beliefs” can’t be good for substantive Justice, nor for the procedure Justice of due process, nor for the access to Justice before a unbiased tribunal nor for anyone’s “self evident” right to determine their own “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Going forward, I just don’t see that non-Christians, left wing, liberal Christians and those Christians who live and let live will have the same shot at Access to Justice that the myopic, right wing Christian, cheerleaders on the U.S. Supreme Court now dictate, under the pretense that mere, “unprovable beliefs” are somehow an “exercise” in Religion.
Onward Christian Soldiers
Leading as to war.
Would Jesus even recognize
What you’re fighting for ???
Copyrighted August 5, 2021